What is Earth’s axis? Discuss its significance.
Earth’s axis is an imaginary line that passes through the centre of the Earth and extends from the North Pole to the South Pole. It is tilted at an angle of approximately 23.5 degrees with respect to the plane of the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. The axis is significant because it is responsible for the seasonal changes that occur on the Earth.
The tilt of the Earth’s axis causes different parts of the Earth to receive different amounts of sunlight at different times of the year. When the Northern Hemisphere is tilted towards the Sun, it receives more direct sunlight, resulting in longer days and warmer temperatures. This is the summer season in the Northern Hemisphere. Conversely, when the Northern Hemisphere has tilted away from the Sun, it receives less direct sunlight, resulting in shorter days and colder temperatures. This is the winter season in the Northern Hemisphere.
The axis also determines the length of a day and night at different latitudes. At the equator, where the axis is perpendicular to the Earth’s surface, there are almost equal amounts of daylight and darkness throughout the year.